What is the New Natures Foundry?

What are new natures?
Humans are technological creatures. We harness nature for energy, food, protection, leisure, information, and meaning through the deployment of technologies. In so doing, we modify nature in countless ways. It becomes something new. Focusing on these new natures allows histories to be written that take into account the complex relationship between nature and technology.

Why a foundry?
A foundry is a place where metals are cast into artefacts. In the foundry, raw materials are melted and moulded as they are crafted into new objects. Through the technological handiwork of humans, nature is remade.

The foundry has a double meaning for us. First, it reminds us of the new nature that is created at the intersection of nature and technology. The junction of nature and technology is productive and creative. Second, the foundry is a place of craftwork and we believe that history is craft as well. This means that how to do historical work is something that can be learned from others, just as an apprentice learns from the master craftsman. We want to explore and share methodologies for writing histories of new natures. At the same time, in a foundry there is room for creativity in the craft of history.

Who are we?
The founders of the foundry are Finn Arne Jørgensen (Associate Professor, Umeå University) and Dolly Jørgensen (Associate Professor, Luleå University of Technology). We research and teach on new natures, both new natures made in the past and those in the making now. Finn Arne is most interested in histories of digital mediation of nature, questions of authenticity with technologies in the wild, and the enabling of environmentally friendly action through technology. Dolly is focused on technological interventions deployed in nature conservation actions, competing views about the naturalness of new natures, and the experience of nature through museum, zoo, and aquarium display technologies.